Review: Beat Mark – Howls of Joy
Published on February 18th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Latest off the remarkably fruitful Ample Play production line are Beat Mark, who may sound like an old school hip-hop artist but are actually two boys and two girls from Paris intent on getting all deliriously fuzzy and sunny up in everyone’s faces. Needless to say, Rocksucker welcomes this, and at the time of writing their recent single “Breeezing!” (which may or may not actually have three e’s) is giving us that special buzz attendant with the arrival in February destined for repeat plays in the summer.
“Breeezing!” is punch-drunk, from lashings of rum and sunshine rather than actual punches, and it lets rip with faintly sinister boogie woogie chords as Kim Deal oohs soar sweetly overhead. Elsewhere, it sounds oddly like Stone Roses jamming with the Muppet Babies, which we’ll have you know is a ruddy marvellous thing. It’s not particularly original, it just hits the bull’s eye.
Howls of Joy could prove to be a prescient title in terms of what it elicits: opener “What I Want the Most” rides psych-tinged jangle-pop into a big ol’ sludgy climax that sets the tone for the LP, next single “Son Thomas Hunter” employs a clapping, stomping swing of a beat to complement those hazy summer vibes and really builds up a head of steam, while “Am I Five” acquires a Jesus and Mary Chain-ish layer of burning distortion that contrasts delightfully with the pleasantly plucked violins of “When the Trees Fall”.
The enjoyment levels don’t remain constant throughout, but the ‘speak-sing’ delivery of lines like “The fact is some people have guts, and some people haven’t” on curtain-closer “Odd Machine” smacks of a band with the sort of laid-back and playful confidence that can only go from strength to strength. Think ‘Pixies meets We Were Evergreen with sprinklings of shoegaze’ and you’d be reasonably close. Great cover art too, especially in these days where that kind of thing gets such little precedence.
Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!
Howls of Joy is out now on Ample Play. For more information, please visit ampleplay.tumblr.com